Namaste 101

Woman with namaste hands at sunset

October 4, 2010

I’m always looking for new ways to demystify yoga. Trying to figure out what om’s got to do with it or the difference between an utkatasana and a vrksasana can really throw a newbie yoga practitioner into a tantric tailspin. I have to admit, I’m two years into my journey, and I still struggle with some of the terms. I guess I’m just really literal, and in some cases I need a translation that is brought down to a second-grade level for me to really wrap my arms around it.

Enter Erica Rodefer, a writer and yoga practitioner who has a really cool blog—Spoiledyogi.com—that you should check out. She recently wrote a blog that appeared on the Yoga Journal Web site (which, BTW, is an incredible resource for information through their Web site, blog, and monthly magazine) titled “5 Sanskrit Words Every Yogi Should Know.” Being the big yoga dork that I am, this article naturally caught my attention.

I’m so glad I read it, because Erica has given me the answer to a prayer—the world’s best, most awesome, and simplified definition of namaste ever. Are you ready? Here it is: “I’m awesome. You’re awesome. All these other people are awesome. Isn’t it awesome that we just practiced yoga together? Thanks for your presence.”

Awesome, dude—yeah, those are words a girl who lived the ’80s can understand.

I got all giddy when I read this because it was exactly what I was looking for: a simple, down-to-earth way to explain to others (and myself) what this magical namaste word means. It captures all the enthusiasm and love that I feel for my instructors and for the practice of yoga.

I’ve been sharing this namaste definition with fellow yogi enthusiasts and classmates, and it’s unanimous—everyone loves it.

Erica, I think you may have started a whole new yoga sensation. You’re awesome!

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